Differences in gene transcriptomic pattern of Plasmodium falciparum in children with cerebral malaria and asymptomatic carriers

Talleh Almelli, Grégory Nuel, Emmanuel Bischoff, Agnès Aubouy, Mohamed Elati, Christian William Wang, Marie-Agnès Dillies, Jean-Yves Coppée, Georges Nko Ayissi, Leonardo Kishi Basco, Christophe Rogier, Nicaise Tuikue Ndam, Philippe Deloron, Rachida Tahar

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity of clinical malaria remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that differential gene expression contributes to phenotypic variation of parasites which results in a specific interaction with the host, leading to different clinical features of malaria. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptomes of isolates obtained from asymptomatic carriers and patients with uncomplicated or cerebral malaria. We also investigated the transcriptomes of 3D7 clone and 3D7-Lib that expresses severe malaria associated-variant surface antigen. Our findings revealed a specific up-regulation of genes involved in pathogenesis, adhesion to host cell, and erythrocyte aggregation in parasites from patients with cerebral malaria and 3D7-Lib, compared to parasites from asymptomatic carriers and 3D7, respectively. However, we did not find any significant difference between the transcriptomes of parasites from cerebral malaria and uncomplicated malaria, suggesting similar transcriptomic pattern in these two parasite populations. The difference between isolates from asymptomatic children and cerebral malaria concerned genes coding for exported proteins, Maurer's cleft proteins, transcriptional factor proteins, proteins implicated in protein transport, as well as Plasmodium conserved and hypothetical proteins. Interestingly, UPs A1, A2, A3 and UPs B1 of var genes were predominantly found in cerebral malaria-associated isolates and those containing architectural domains of DC4, DC5, DC13 and their neighboring rif genes in 3D7-lib. Therefore, more investigations are needed to analyze the effective role of these genes during malaria infection to provide with new knowledge on malaria pathology. In addition, concomitant regulation of genes within the chromosomal neighborhood suggests a common mechanism of gene regulation in P. falciparum.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalP L o S One
    Volume9
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)e114401
    ISSN1932-6203
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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